by Mary Brown
Rose was the
eldest daughter of Auntie Mary. So of all the
children Auntie Mary liked her most. She liked
her because Rose was not only polite but in poor
health. Since her childhood, she had been
unhealthy, which made me feel very sorry for her.
graduated from Junior school, Auntie Mary
persuaded her to give up schooling, though she
was good at her lessons. Also, her father stopped
her going on with more schooling. He thought the
girls neednt have more education, so he
insisted that more money should be saved for her
younger brother. As a result, Rose wept several
times and she decided to give up.
One day her
father came to ask me to show her something of
the ways of the world. In fact, he wanted me to
help her earn some money in bigger cities. I
promised him I would and Rose went with me to
join the people who were going to make money. She
was 17 that year.
arrived in the city, she felt very homesick. Once
I took her to a nearby telephone box to call her
family. The moment she picked up the phone, she
couldnt help crying. She complained that
Auntie Mary seemed to be taking a long time to
come. Auntie Mary said that she was to get the
call in Roses uncles house across the
road. Rose paused for a while and then said that
she would send some money home to have a
telephone put in her home.
hard and behaved well. So almost everyone liked
her very much. And all of her salary for the
first month was sent home. She specially said
that the money should be used to have a telephone
put in at home. Unfortunately, her father was
unwillingly to do it, saying that the money would
have to be saved for emergency.
this very well, so she didnt say a single
word about it. Later, though she sent all she had
earned to her family, her family was so poor that
it seemed to be doing no good. So it was still a
Last New Year,
I went to visit Roses family. And Rose put
forward the proposal that the telephone should be
fixed, saying that, since both her parents couldnt
walk very well, it would be very dangerous to run
across the road to take the calls. Worse still,
it was inconvenient for her uncle to come
frequently to tell them they were wanted on the
phone. However, her father said it sounded
reasonable, but there was a great need of money
at present. And Auntie Mary added that when they
had their new house built, they would have a
telephone put in.
had passed. Their new house had been built, but
no telephone was put in. Roses father said
that her brother was then in Senior II and that
soon he would go to university.
Roses uncle shouted across the road that
Rose should come to take a phone call. So Rose
put down her knife and fork and ran out across
the street. She had been waiting for the call for
ages, for she had fixed the time to have a chat
with her boyfriend on the phone. But when she was
in the middle of the road, a speeding car ran
felt her all over, crying with a broken heart.
had a phone put in her new house. But she went
slightly mad towards the end of her life.
Whenever she went, she would murmur to herself,
Telephone, telephone, telephone